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Who's the idiot who installed my insert?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by kruger, Oct 14, 2008.

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  1. kruger

    kruger Member

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    SE Wyoming
    Sharing my situation and looking for some suggestions from some educated folks:

    I bought a house in June and was pretty excited about the wood burner (Glacier Bay) that came with it. The other day I got on the roof with my sweep and found the external masonry chimney wasn't lined. I understand this isn't a good situation. I checked for a draft and was getting warm air, so I figured things were kosher. Fired up some pine out of the Med. Bow forest and got some coals going. She didn't want to take off right away; it seemed I wasn't getting much air supply. I had to leave the doors slightly cracked to get good flame (starting to worry). I got a good base of coals and started rolling on small locust lengths. Over the course of about about two hours, the house smelled like smoke, but wasn't visible (starting to worry a little more). I tried to tell myself it was due to me opening and closing the doors nonstop to keep the fire going. Ran locust the rest of the afternoon and couldn't get the hearth room above 65 no matter how hard I tried(freaking out). Let it cool over night and pulled off the trim shield in the morning. Found the following situation: Stove had no pipe exiting the top; stove was sitting so close to the front of the hearth, the front of the hearth ceiling was covering about three inches of the eight inch chimney flange. I'm no expert, but this seems like a pretty shotty job. I've read many forum postings from the site on where to go from here. I am a handyman, but would feel more comfortable having a pro make this pisspoor installation and efficient one.

    Questions:
    1) Who can I contact to have this repair/install done?
    2) How much should I expect to pay for a liner, flue plate, and hardware?
    3) What kind of labor is going to take?
    4) This stove was made in 1979. I've been told if it's moved or removed, it could possibly be illegal to reinstall because it is currently "grandfathered" and wouldn't meet code if reinstalled (making the unit illegal). Is this true?
    5) Where to go from here?


    Thanks

    Attached Files:

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  2. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Wow. My sympathies. Somebody who knows what they're talking about will surely be along shortly to give you good advice, but sounds tough.

    I'm not a DYIer on this kind of thing, so if it was me, I'd get on the phone to the sweep and find out who he'd recommend to take a look and see what's needed. I wouldn't worry too much about the install-reinstall, though you might want to ask around for community norms on this discreetly. This is your burner, and fixing up the connectors shouldn't invalidate the grandfather clause, I wouldn't think, unless you end up with an exceptionally prissy workman.

    Don't know where you are, but here in Vermont, we don't have inspectors for this stuff, and nobody gives a darn about the niceties of The Rulz, so it all depends on the conscientiousness and competence of the workman/installer.
  3. kruger

    kruger Member

    Joined:
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    Thanks,
    I'm going to see my local hearth dealer today and see if he can recommend a workman. I think the unit just needs to be pushed back. I am confident I could make this reinstall happen, but some external forces of the female variety are encouraging me to have it professionally done. I suppose it's not a bad idea. I'm glad two stove lengths of locust didn't burn the new place to the ground.

    Grateful,
  4. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Sound/looks like a "slammer". I used one of those for about 20 years, and it worked rather well. My chimney is tile lined...still it did accumulate a lot of creosote, maybe there were even a few "small" chimney fires. Finally we got to where there was a smell in the house whenever the weather was warm...we did a lot of cleaning and installed a locktop damper, and removed the slammer. Smell still a problem. We then had a new insert installed with a stainless steel liner, that's what you too can do, or even use the existing insert with a SS liner, I don't know your unit.

    In any case, it was common practice in NJ, at least out in the country, to install inserts that way, just stick them in the fireplace and put a surround to cover the rest of the opening and try to seal it somewhat with glass insulation stuffed in around the surround. As I said, it worked well, gave us many warm fires, and luckily never burned the house down.
  5. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    How was that surrounded fixed to the stove? I do not see any points to attach it. Is it really not an insert and the surround was fabricated?

    If you are a DIYer, you should be able to hook the stove up no problem - except for I have no idea as to how you would connect that stove to the liner with having about ZERO clearance in there to work with. A liner kit with a top plate and making a block off plate should not cost more than $500 and all the info you need is on this site already.

    That said, you may be better off extending your hearth out, sliding the stove out and then piping it up and through that brick and into the flue. There are pics and info on that install on here too.

    Here is a start
    http://www.hearth.com/what/specific.php
  6. kruger

    kruger Member

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    Loc:
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    CT,

    This unit did have a surround that "clamped" onto the top plate. The angle iron on the ceiling of the hearth you see in the last picture is looming over about 25% of the chimney flange. It seems to me the stove needs to be moved back into the hearth so it's under the flue. If it is directly under the flue, it will be possible to route flexible SS up and out. I have heard concern from my sweep about needing to demo out the damper and flue area to make that "flexible" SS liner work. Is this a concern?

    I've heard many of these "slap in" inserts installed in the early 80s never had a pipe exiting the stove. So basically the "idiot" who installed my insert installed it the way many people of that era installed. Forgive me for assuming this was out of the ordinary.

    Question:
    How much of an increase in efficiency would a SS liner and a flue?

    Thanks for the help so far
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Couple of observations. One, if I am seeing things right in that picture you aren't going to be able to push it far enough back to run a liner down to the stove flue outlet because of the slope in the back of the firebox. Two, if the stove does not have a blower, and if it does it must be behind it (see number one), the fireplace fits so tight around it that you will never get much heat from it anyway.
  8. kruger

    kruger Member

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    Bart,
    There are two covers on each side of the stove close to the doors (exposed from the hearth). The covers (which have about 50 small slots each) can be removed by removing the four small self-tapping screws on each side. Once the covers are off, the internal firebox is visible. It appears these (roughly 4"x12")openings are designed for blower accessories. When I had it going earlier, I had two small fans blowing into each side and created warm air flow out the top. The firebox never really got to HOT. I was able to sit very close to the unit even at it's hottest point.
  9. kruger

    kruger Member

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    Loc:
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    How should I prep the dampener/flue are for a flexible SS liner? It seems the dampener is about 18" by 8". I can't see it right now, so that's a guess. But, I KNOW my stove flange for the pipe is 8". Does the dampener need to be chiseled out of the flue? Will I have to chisel out any other masonry material to be able to bend the SS liner through the flue angles? The following images is from http://hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/installing_a_woodstove

    Attached Files:

  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's a different kind of stove installation than the old Glacier, it's for a rear exit stove. The Glacier is a top-exit.

    Quite frankly I'd sell that old smoke dragon and get a modern stove in there. You can either find an insert to fit or put a free-standing, rear exit stove in front of the fireplace like the diagram shows. Either way you are going to be much happier and safer with the end result.
  11. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    I have a hard time believing that you will be able to attach the liner and stove connector to that stove. It looks like you will have no room to get a hand in there - especially if you are pushing that thing back even farther. If you were able to get a liner down and hooked to that stove, you may have to cut (with a sawzall or grinder) a notch in the damper/housing depending on how large the opening is.

    There was many o many stove installed in that manner for sure back in the day and even more recently i think. My Better N Bens was installed the same way when I moved in.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Treat it like you would have an old worn out 1979 Chevette if there had been one in the garage of the house when you moved in. Junk it.
  13. kruger

    kruger Member

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    Well put BroB,
    We are in this house for a while with the market the way it is and I don't see us ever doing anything but burning wood. I know this isn't the venue to ask, but with what you fellas know, what type of unit would most effectively heat a 2200 sq. ft. multi-level? Should I avoid an insert all together? I pulled the stove over the lunch hour and determined the dampener is only 4" x 15", so I presume I would have be forced to demo out most of that flue and smoke self.

    Again, thanks for all the recommendations.

    My cutting buddies have been joking around about establishing the Western Nebraska Woodcutters Society. Finding this venue for wood cutting and burning discussion has been a real treat. Thanks.
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Hit us with some dimensions for that fireplace. Height, width and depth at both the bottom and straight back from the top of the opening.
  15. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Realize your looking @ 3k at least to replace and line. If you don't do it yourself.
  16. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    Most effective? For a multilevel house, a wood furnace would be the most effective. However, depending on the layout and openness. a good wood stove would be more enjoyable.

    We have just gone from a wood furnace in the basement (very effective) to a wood stove upstairs. Hopefully it will work out as well or better than the wood furnace. But we only have a one story ranch.

    Ken
  17. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    Where in Wyoming are you?
    We are in Rawlins. I too took advantage of the
    free firewood in the Medicine bow campgrounds this year.
    As well as cutting alot of beetle kill wood.
    As far as someone good to do your install, i had a hard time finding
    a reasonable price, as well as some bad advice from a local guy.
    After alot of help from the good folks on this site, i decided to do my
    own install. Picking up the stove in Riverton thursday.

    Brad
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